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Dementia Caregiver Tips: Feeding Your Loved One

According to the Maryland Department of Aging, about 85% of people with dementia or chronic illness are cared for in the home.

As an illness progresses, it can be difficult to ensure they're getting proper nutrition. Although feeding a loved one with Dementia, Alzheimer's or other ongoing illnesses can be a challenge, it's not insurmountable. Here are a few tips that can help destress mealtime and improve overall nutrition and wellness.

  • Offer one food at a time. Too much food on a plate can be confusing and overwhelming.

  • Eat with your loved one. Model eating behavior and have pleasant conversations during meals. Talk about the smell and enjoyment of each food.

  • If chewing or swallowing are a problem, prepare soft, chopped or bite-size like cottage cheese, scrambled eggs, applesauce, etc.

  • Avoid small hard objects (grapes, raw carrot pieces). Make sure dentures are in place and fit well.

  • Serve finger foods like sandwiches (in quarters), carrot or cheese sticks, fruit slices.

  • If possible, increase appetite for meals with some type of physical activity.

  • Provide plenty of fluids and fiber.

  • Offer small, frequent meals rather than three large meals.

For more strategies and definitive plan, be sure to consult with your medical provider.

Source: Maryland Department for Aging.

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